Brazil's president: Rio to host Formula One again in 2020

Brazil's president: Rio to host Formula One again in 2020

Next year's Formula One Grand Prix in Brazil will be held in Rio de Janeiro, ending a three-decade long association with Sao Paulo, President Jair Bolsonaro said.

"Since November 2018, the city of São Paulo has been working for the renewal of the F1 Brazil GP contract in the city of São Paulo, starting in 2021".

Bolsonaro announced that a deal has already been signed with Rio governor Wilson Witzel and mayor Marcelo Crivella for the construction of a new track in the city's Deodoro district, funded entirely by private money, reports Autosport. "The hotel sector will be happy, the state economy as well since it will be six or seven thousands jobs generation".

Rio de Janeiro is on track to replace Interlagos as host of the 2020 Brazilian grand prix. Construction work aims to be completed before the end of 2019.

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Deodoro was used as a venue for some events at the 2016 Olympics, including equestrian, field hockey and modern pentathlon.

He added: "There was state assistance [from the local government] in Sao Paulo, with a huge debt".

However, race organisers in Sao Paulo, which reportedly still have a contract to host next year's Grand Prix, have rejected the President's claims.

However, the circuit's future has been in doubt recently, and its current contract to host F1 is set to expire after the 2020 season.

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In 1973, the race was made an official part of the calendar, and Interlagos became one of the real classic Formula 1 venues.

The Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet racecourse held Brazil's F1 race in Rio on 10 occasions, most recently in 1989, before it was demolished to make way for facilities developed for the 2016 summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

As of yet there has been no comment from Formula 1 or its overlords Liberty Media on the situation.

According to Bolsonaro, Formula 1 executives have given tacit support for the race to be held in Rio.

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